Chi Sigma Theta Sorority Records, 1914-2014, Undated
- Chi Sigma Theta Sorority
- The Chi Sigma Theta Sorority Records contain documents related to the history, activities and alumnae of the Chi Sigma Theta Sorority at the University at Albany.
- 15.58 cubic ft.
- English and English
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Chi Sigma Theta Sorority Records, 1914-1989. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Chi Sigma Sorority Records).
Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access:
Access to this collection is unrestricted with the exception of select files noted below. Researchers seeking access to these materials should contact the head of Special Collections and Archives.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
- Scope and Content:
The Chi Sigma Theta Sorority Records include administrative records such as constitutions, member lists, and meeting minutes; subject files related to sorority activities and traditions such as event publicity and songs; and several years' worth of composite photographs of the sorority members. There are many scrapbooks kept by the sorority historian, documenting Chi Sigma Theta's activities each year, as well as a box of preservation photocopies of these scrapbooks. The memorabilia includes textiles such as blazers, blankets and banners; jewelry such as rings, pins and necklaces; and various other items bearing the Chi Sigma symbol.
- Biographical / Historical:
Chi Sigma Theta, a local sorority founded at the New York State College for Teachers (now the University at Albany), traced its origins to the Newman Club, a campus Catholic study society founded in 1908. The Newman Club reorganized to form Kappa Nu Sorority on October 5, 1914. In 1920 the name of the sorority was changed to Chi Sigma Theta for reasons that are unclear. The Sorority had one main objective: "Chi Sigma Theta established its ideals of loyalty, companionship, and sincerity, which each girl takes a pledge to uphold" (State College News, November 13, 1964, 5).
Like many sororities, Chi Sigma Theta maintained several traditions over the course of its history. Some of these included hosting holiday parties, faculty teas, formal dinners, building Homecoming floats, a candlelight ceremony for members who became engaged, and of course organizing the yearly rush and pledge period. These activities are extensively documented in the scrapbooks kept by the official sorority historian each year.
In the mid-1960s Greek societies at the State University of New York at Albany were forced to sell their houses and move to dormitories on the new Uptown Campus. Maintaining a Greek society in the dormitories was contingent on retaining sufficient members to justify setting aside the floor and rooms. In the 1970s Chi Sigma Theta, along with other local Greek societies at the University, suffered a steady decline in membership. The active chapter of Chi Sigma Theta dissolved in 1980.
The sorority did not accept this setback as permanent. With the help of a robust alumnae association, Chi Sigma Theta was reactivated on campus as a local sorority in the Spring of 1986 with the initiation of seven new members.
The attempt to reestablish Chi Sigma Theta as a local sorority failed. In 1988, the remaining members of the active chapter merged with the University at Albany chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma, a national sorority. As of at least 2013 Phi Sigma Sigma is no longer an active sorority on the Albany campus. However, Chi Sigma Theta still enjoys an active alumnae association.
- Acquisition information:
A small portion of these records were transferred to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives by the Alumni Association in 1991. The bulk of the records were deposited by Carol Siver, Class of 1965, in 2002. Since then the collection has been augmented several times through donations from individual alumni, including at the 100th anniversary celebration in June 2014.
- Processing information:
Processed in 1992 by Shawne Rosenberg and Sherry Schneiderman.
- Greek letter societies--New York (State)--Albany
Initiations (into trades, societies, etc.)
Women--New York (State)--Albany--Societies and clubs
UAlbany Student Groups
Minutes (administrative records)
- State University of New York at Albany
Chi Sigma Theta Sorority